Members of the House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies heard from Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on April 11, 2018. Tribal leaders are going next. Photo: House Appropriations ‏
National | Politics

Dozens of Indian Country leaders present their budget priorities



Webcast here -- youtu.be/jbFSwf8ht5Y

Dozens of Indian Country leaders are on Capitol Hill this week to present their budget priorities to key members of Congress.

The House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies has lined up another impressive slate of witnesses for two days of hearings on Wednesday and Thursday. The testimony from tribes and Indian organization, representing every region of the nation, will be used to develop the appropriations bill for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service and other key agencies.

The message is usually simple yet strong -- Indian Country needs additional funding as part of the federal government's trust and treaty responsibilities. The panel's Republican and Democratic leaders, for the large part, have embraced that goal.

“I think it's safe to say that an overall cut to the Indian Health Service budget continues to be a non-starter for this Congress,” Rep. Ken Calvert (R-California), the chairman of the subcommittee, said at a hearing last month.


After hearing from the tribal witnesses, Calvert's subcommittee will spend the next month or so drafting the Interior appropriations bill. The package is typically released sometime in June, with lawmakers aiming to get it passed before October 1, the start of fiscal year 2019.

The sessions take place in the morning and afternoon on Wednesday and Thursday. All will be webcast.

Wednesday, May 9 - AM Hearing

Witnesses:
Fawn Sharp, President, Quinault Indian Nation

Frances Charles, Tribal Chairwoman, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

Abigail Echo-Hawk (Pawnee), Director, Urban Indian Health Institute

Ray Peters, Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison, Squaxin Island Tribe

W. Ron Allen, Tribal Chairman and CEO, Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe

W. Ron Allen, Tribal Co-Chair, Tribal Interior Budget Council (TIBC) Tribal Caucus

Edward Johnstone, Treasurer, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

David Bean, Councilman, Puyallup Tribe of Washington State

Dr. Michael Marchand, Chairman, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

Charlene Nelson, Chairperson, Shoalwater Bay Tribe

Esther Lucero, CEO, Seattle Indian Health Board

Delano Saluskin, Council Member, Yakama Nation Tribal Council

Brian Cladoosby, Chairman, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community

Jeromy Sullivan, Chairman, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe

Andrew C. Joseph, Jr., Chairman, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board

Casey Mitchell, Chairman, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

Phil Rigdon, President, Intertribal Timber Council

Aurene Martin, Board Member, National Indian Child Welfare Association

Maulian Dana, Ambassador, Penobscot Nation

Kirk Francis, President, United South and Eastern Tribes Sovereignty Protection Fund (USET SPF)

Brandon Stevens, Vice Chairman, Oneida Indian Nation

William Harris, Chief, Catawba Indian Nation

Joseph P. Crowley, President, American Dental Association

Wednesday, May 9 - PM Hearing

Witnesses:
Bill John Baker, Principal Chief, Cherokee Nation

Deana M. Bovee, Tribal Chairwoman, Susanville Indian Rancheria

Patty Brown-Schwalenberg, Executive Director, Chugach Regional Resources Commission (CRRC)

John Buller, President, Yakutat Tlingit Tribe

Erika Eva Chase, Secretary, Tribal Education Departments National Assembly (TEDNA)

Karl Cook, Mayor, Metlakatla Indian Community

James R. Floyd, Principal Chief, Muscogee Creek Nation

Melanie Fourkiller, Policy Analyst, National Tribal Contract Support Cost Coalition (NTCSCC)

Katherine Gottlieb, President and CEO, Southcentral Foundation

Jefferson Keel, President, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)

Mark LeBeau, Chief Executive Officer, California Rural Indian Health Board (CRIHB)

Sandra M. Lewis, Tribal Council Recorder, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

Aaron Payment, Chairperson, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of the Chippewa Indians

Teresa Sanchez, Board Vice President, Riverside-San Bernardino County Indian Health, Inc. (RSBCIHI)

Natasha Singh, General Counsel, Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC)

Megan Alvanna Stimpfle, Self-Governance Coordinator, Norton Sound Health Corporation

Bryan Newland, Executive Director, Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA)

Andy Teuber, Chairman and President, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Bruce Thomas, Natural Resources Director, Council of Athasbascan Governments (CATG)

Everett Waller, Chairman, Osage Minerals Council

Wednesday, May 10 - AM Hearing

Witnesses:
Russell Begaye, President, Navajo Nation

Carrie L. Billy, President and CEO, American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC)

Edward Manuel, Chairman, Tohono O'odham Nation

Stephen Roe Lewis, Governor, Gila River Indian Community

Robert Miguel, Chairman, Ak-Chin Indian Community

Terry Rambler, Chairman, San Carlos Apache Tribe

Delbert Ray, President, Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community

Tony Small, Vice Chairman, Ute Tribe of Utah

Vinton Hawley, Chairman, National Indian Health Board

Ahniwake Rose, Executive Director, National Indian Education Association

Kevin R. Dupuis, Sr., Chairman, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Darrell Seki, Tribal Chairman, Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians

Leander “Russ” McDonald, President, United Tribes Technical College

Natasha Gourd, Project Coordinator, First Nations Women’s Alliance

Casey Mitchell, Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee

Nathan Small, Chairman, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation

Chad Abel, Division Administrator, Treaty Natural Resources Division, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Jason Schlender, Vice-Chairman, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

Joseph Wildcat, Sr., President, Lac du Flambeau Tribe

Douglas Cox, Chairman, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin

Michael J. Isham, Executive Administrator Designate, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC)

Shannon Holsey, President, Stockbridge Munsee Mohican Community

Wednesday, May 10 - PM Hearing

WItnesses:
Angelique Albert, Executive Director, American Indian Graduate Center

Ervin Carlson, President, InterTribal Buffalo Council

J. Michael Chavarria, Governor, Pueblo of Santa Clara (Also Chairman of the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council, Inc.

Dave Flute, Chairman, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation,

Robert Flying Hawk, Chairman, Yankton Sioux Tribe

Harold C. Frazier, Chairman, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

Boyd Gorneau, Chairman, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe

David Omar Kills A Hundred, Trustee II, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe

Tori Kitcheyan, Councilwoman, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

Brandon Mauai, Tribal Council Member, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Jennifer McLeod, Board Member, Association of Community Tribal Schools (ACTS)

Lawrence T. Mirabal, Chief Financial Officer, Institute of American Indian Arts

Kurt Riley, Governor, Pueblo of Acoma and Chairman of the Ten Southern Pueblo Governor’s Council in New Mexico

Lester Thompson, Jr., Chairman, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe

Roger Trudell, Chairman, Santee Sioux Tribe

Ashley Tuomi, President, National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH)

Troy "Scott" Weston, President, Oglala Sioux Tribe

Roger White Owl, Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison, Mandan Hidatsa and Arikara Nation

Kathleen Wooden Knife, Council Representative, Rosebud Sioux Tribe

House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Notices:
American Indian/Alaska Native Public Witnesses [AM Session] (May 9, 2018)
American Indian/Alaska Native Public Witnesses [PM Session] (May 9, 2018)
American Indian/Alaska Native Public Witnesses [AM Session] (May 10,, 2018)
American Indian/Alaska Native Public Witnesses [PM Session] (May 10, 2018)

Related Stories:
Budget cuts for Indian programs again come under fire on Capitol Hill (April 12, 2018)
Spending bill includes large infusion of funds for Indian housing (March 27, 2018)
Key committee in House invites tribes to discuss funding priorities (March 26, 2018)
Indian Country sees 'real progress' with $1.3 trillion spending bill (March 26, 2018) Lawmakers reject Trump cuts with increases for Indian programs in massive spending bill (March 22, 2018)